Changes in the heritable attributes of populations of organisms over time. The mechanisms of evolution are mutation, migration, drift, and selection.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

1
vote
0answers
41 views

Was the frequency of mutations more during primitive earth due to radioactivity?

Primitive earth was more radioactive (or was it really?) according to radiometric analysis of C14 which suddenly appeared at 4250 million years in the Hadeon eon. Is it possible that ancient high ...
7
votes
1answer
69 views

Why does the proportion of transposable elements vary so much across species?

Intuitively, transposable elements (TEs) are harmful as they may cause genome instability. However, some people argue that TEs are also sources of variations, especially regulatory sequences[1]. If ...
2
votes
0answers
27 views

The evolution of sleep [duplicate]

Are there evolutionary theories as to why we (and most animals) sleep? Some claimed functions of sleep include: restoration, waste clearance, memory processing, etc. But unless we understand why ...
3
votes
0answers
72 views

Why doesn't lard taste good? [closed]

I mean looking from evolutionary perspective sugar tastes sweet and individuals that had this perception ate more sugar and survived and those that didn't perceive sugar as sweet didn't eat it and ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

Why did abiogenesis only happen once?

If the "primordial soup" theory of abiogenesis is to be believed, self-reproducing organisms spontaneously arose on Earth at least 3.5 billion years ago, surprisingly soon after the Earth cooled down ...
10
votes
2answers
6k views

Why are the Galápagos islands so special?

Why did Darwin formulate his theory of evolution just after his visit to the Galápagos islands? Why were they so special from an evolutionary point of view?
0
votes
1answer
125 views

Have scientists ever produce a new species in laboratory by means of natural selection?

I was wondering, if scientists ever produce a more complex species from a less complex species by means of natural selection? I imagine something like, bacteria which can't photosynthesis and oxygen ...
0
votes
1answer
143 views

Can someone help me analyze this article? [closed]

I need to read this article — "Beyond the rainbow" by Marie-Claire Koschowitz et al., for an exam. Following are some questions for which I could not figure the answer out after reading. 1) Why ...
2
votes
1answer
57 views

How to understand Aposematism and Batesian mimicry

EDIT I want to understand the reason for intense animal colors. I.e. I don't want to understand the variety of the colors, just the intensity. The Wikipedia page for Cethosia biblis says, the intense ...
-3
votes
1answer
75 views

Does evolution thinks? [closed]

I understand evolution as survival of the fittest rule , where its the nature and surroundings that shapes the life by extinction of species which are not fit to survive the nature at that period. To ...
7
votes
1answer
203 views

What is most ancestral: isogamy or anisogamy?

Sexual reproduction can be feasible with anisogamy (gametes of different sizes i.e. genders) or isogamy (gametes of same size i.e. mating types) or with undifferentiated gametes (i.e. true random ...
2
votes
2answers
242 views

Why asexual reproduction?

When I took a course on genetics and evolution, I learned that recombination and sexual reproduction is advantageous compared to asexual reproduction. Sexual reproduction allows more combinations of ...
5
votes
2answers
235 views

Can diploidy evolve in absence of sexual reproduction?

Theoretical question Can diploidy (or polyploidy) evolve from a haploid lineage in the absence of sexual reproduction ? For what theoretical reason? How can such evolution take place? Empirical ...
1
vote
0answers
32 views

Why is marginal reconstruction “more correct” than joint reconstruction in some cases?

When reconstructing the ancestral states on a phylogenetic tree given the states at the tips, there are a number of methods for performing the reconstruction. This question is about marginal and joint ...
0
votes
2answers
223 views

Why even if all requirements for natural selection are met, it may not happen?

In the book written by John Endler Natural Selection in the Wild p. 4 it says that even if condition a, b and c are met, evolution by natural selection might occur, [...] , but not necessarily, ...
0
votes
1answer
181 views

What are the minimum conditions required for “open-ended evolution”?

According to a paper about artificial life systems, the following four conditions have to be fulfilled for "open-ended evolution": Condition 1: A rule should be enforced that individuals must ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do humans bury their dead? [closed]

As far as we know Ape Men or the Neanderthal Man was the first to bury its dead. My question is why. I don't think they practiced religion or believed in spirits or faith or stuff like that. ...
3
votes
4answers
122 views

Is an egg classified based on the species inside it, or by the species that laid it?

Basically what I'm asking is if an animal of species x were to lay an egg, and the animal inside that egg happened to be the first member of a genetically new ...
0
votes
2answers
103 views

Are there any predators without camouflage?

Are there any predators that don't use camouflage?
4
votes
1answer
80 views

Is there a formal definition of signature of natural selection?

I’ve searched for a definition of signature of natural selection. Unfortunately, I haven’t found any formal definition of it. The signature of positive selection ...
5
votes
3answers
272 views

Symmetry of species [duplicate]

I've got a silly question, sorry for that. I know, that we probably have no the right answer and the current answer could be "that's evolution, external conditions". I'd like to speculate, why most of ...
5
votes
2answers
88 views

Evolution of spider webs?

Web making seems like a fairly complex behavior built from a pretty strong material. So how exactly did it evolve? Do we have any clues about what kind of features/behaviors preceded web making and ...
5
votes
1answer
100 views

How does the value of K determine number of local optima in NK model?

BACKGROUND The NK model of fitness landscape considers N states which can interact with K other states. For example N is the total number of genes in a haploid genome and K is the number of other ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

What makes animal to continually reproduce? [closed]

I was reading about Trypophobia and reached to Surinam Toad's reproduction methods. Then I had this doubt- Why would animals want to reproduce so much? In case of humans we mostly have the offsprings ...
2
votes
1answer
73 views

What are some useful (starter) metrics to use on phylogenetic trees?

Im doing a computational biology project in which I simulate evolution under different inheritance rulesets and I am generating phylogenetic trees (beautifully visualised in python with ete3, which I ...
0
votes
0answers
15 views

Are Betaproteobacteria more 'simple' than Gammaproteobacteria?

More generally, are all proteobacteria named in order of complexity (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon)? If so, would it be right to say that Betaproteobacteria can survive in lower nutrition / more ...
5
votes
3answers
478 views

3-minute long inspiring videos on evolutionary biology

What I am looking for I would like to start my teaching sessions with short emotional, awe-inspiring or exciting videos that are somehow related to evolutionary biology (incl. diversity of life, ...
9
votes
1answer
507 views

Is there any recent evidence for the aquatic ape theory of human evolution?

The aquatic ape theory suggests that many features that distinguish humans from their nearest evolutionary relatives emerged because the ancestors of humans underwent a period when they were adapting ...
-2
votes
1answer
214 views

Bootstrapping (symmetry breaking) in evolution [closed]

Many fascinating phenomena in nature show different behaviours on the micro and the macro level. Here I am especially referring to phenomena that are symmetric on the micro and asymmetric on the macro ...
2
votes
2answers
161 views

building intelligent structure with random evolution requires series of non useful steps

In order to build an intelligent design such as a bridge or a mechanical watch, you need a series of non useful steps. As far as I understand, in random evolution theory, the "intelligence" involved ...
4
votes
2answers
133 views

Are epigenetic changes involved in evolution?

Evolution leads to phenotypic changes through changes in DNA such as mutations. Mutations are transmitted to offspring. Cumulative mutational changes across many generations may cause evolution and ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What are we missing about the real workings of the evolutionary process? [closed]

As a scientist (and a computer scientist at that) my view is that if we cannot simulate a process we have not understood it properly. I have been following the interesting field of Artificial Life for ...
1
vote
2answers
60 views

A non human adaptive behaviour with a spandrel

Is there any adaptive behaviour in non humans which, when it is functioning as it was selected to do, creates a spandrel behaviour? In evolutionary biology, a spandrel is a phenotypic ...
7
votes
2answers
564 views

Help with the Price equation

The Price equation describes mathematically the evolution of a population of units from one generation to the next. $\bar{w}\Delta \bar{z}$ = $Cov (w_i,z_i) $+$ E(w_i\Delta z_i)$ I would like ...
2
votes
1answer
4k views

Why do different humans look different?

Although farmers appear to be able to tell their cows apart, cows look very much alike to me. And this similarity in appearance seems to be a general trait across the animal kingdom: one individual of ...
12
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the difference between a circular and a cat's-eye (slit) pupil?

I've been to local zoo the other day and one lizard caught my attention: its pupils are circular, which, I thought, is not usual for reptiles. Turns out it is, but now I can't find any explanation on ...
0
votes
1answer
88 views

Regression to the mean and evolution

I don't have a strong biological background but, in studying statistics, I met the idea of regression to the mean. e.g. children of tall parents tend to be shorter than their parents, and so on. Does ...
0
votes
1answer
101 views

When was the last common ancestor of pig and human?

Some religions regard pigs as unclean on the grounds that pig flesh is closest in composition to human flesh. I don't believe this for one instant, but it got me thinking, just how close is pig and ...
1
vote
1answer
69 views

Why do most organisms depend on water? [closed]

Most organisms depend on water for metabolisms. Even the higher organisms need to maintain their daily water intake. Why water and not something else (for example like H2S)? I know H2S is poisonous ...
1
vote
1answer
107 views

Do species which have a closer common ancestor to humans tend to be more intelligent? [closed]

Q: Do species which have a closer common ancestor to humans tend to be more intelligent? Our closest living relative, the chimpanzee, seems to be regarded as intelligent: Chimpanzees make ...
7
votes
2answers
312 views

How does Natural Selection shape Genetic Variation?

Background Importance of the additive genetic variance As stated here, the fundamental theorem of Natural Selection (NS) by Fisher says: The rate of increase in the mean fitness of any organism ...
4
votes
2answers
190 views

Do mutant alleles result from mutation of the wild type?

The allele that encodes for the most common form of a phenotype in natural population is called a wild type allele and all the rest of the alleles encoding forms other than the wild type are called ...
1
vote
1answer
91 views

Difference/similarity between adaptive radiation and species divergence?

I've been reading various answers on different sites but I still don't know whether adaptive radiation and species divergence are different or similar. My questions: 1) On some sites, it says that ...
5
votes
1answer
253 views

Why would deer continue to cross a river full of crocodiles even though some of them have been killed?

I recently watched a clip on Discovery Channel, where I saw deer crossing a river full of crocodiles, ignoring the fact that some of them would have been killed doing so. Is there a possible ...
5
votes
0answers
45 views

Is high metabolism linked to high evolutionary turnover?

I recently read The Dinosaur Heresies by Robert T. Bakker, a 1986 popular science book presenting arguments for an active lifestyle and high metabolic rate in dinosaurs. One of the arguments that ...
-2
votes
2answers
115 views

Why human skin colour disprove natural selection? [duplicate]

Amount of melanin decides the darkness and fairness of skin. The darker the skin is, larger the heat energy it will absorb from sunlight. The lighter the skin is, less will be the heat energy ...
1
vote
2answers
209 views

Origin of human intelligence and thought

I've been debating this topic with a friend of mine and we can't get to a common answer. She argues that we don't descend from any Chimpanzee or Orangutan because, if we did, they would also have the ...
5
votes
1answer
160 views

What is the origin of prions?

We know something about the origin of the first cell. But what do we know about prions? How did they originate?
1
vote
2answers
275 views

Is there any genetic similarity that defy evolution theory?

For example, say species A is common ancestor of B, and C. Species B is a common ancestor of D and E. We would expect that there will be more genetic similarity between D and E than D and C. And ...
3
votes
1answer
39 views